Plant manager, Nova Group, Inc., 185 Devlin Rd., Napa 94558; 707-265-1100; novagrp.com
Professional background: Construction and construction management
Education: Some college
Describe the facilities you oversee: Nova has a 50,000-square-foot American Institute of Steel Construction--certified fabrication facility in Napa.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I had a friend who was working for Nova Group at the time who helped me get the job. I was hired as a general laborer and worked my way up to plant manager. I was the assistant plant manager for about three years and have been the plant manager for at least 10 years. I have worked at Nova Group for more than 20 years.
What do you see as the role of the facilities managers within your organization?: Making sure we fabricate quality products within budget and maintaining a safe work environment for the employees.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?: The Nova shop has had only one safety incident in the last 10 years. The company as a whole was one of 29 nationwide to receive a Construction Safety Excellence Award from Associated General Contractors.
What is your biggest challenge today?: Hiring new employees who fit into the safety culture we have at Nova Group. It has a great safety and training orientation program. We conduct our own in-house training on every piece of equipment any new employee will be using. We have daily meetings and discuss safety topics and recommendations. There are also weekly safety meetings. We also have a safety incentive program.
What is the next major project either under way or on the horizon?: We are getting ready to fabricate a visual screen for a joint venture job we have in Washington.
Most admired businessperson outside your organization: My sister Lori Torkelson, CPA
Stress relievers: Working out
Favorite hobbies: I like to play basketball, baseball, softball and water polo. I coach Little League ages 10--12 and have coached CYO basketball and youth soccer in the past.